Lemon Bars with Pistachio-Graham Cracker Crust

August 5, 2012

Top 10 list of things I can't get enough of:
1. Time
2. Sleep
3. Jamie Bamber's smile
4. That feeling of "ahhh...," after completing stuff I'd been putting off for days.
5. Time
6. Good hair days
7. Peace of mind (rare for an overly analytical perfectionist)
8. Baking
9. Cool summer nights
10. Lemon...anything (of course)

Aside from the fact that I don't always have luck with Martha Stewart's recipes, when I first found these squares, I was more worried about the filling. (See #7 on the list above.) For as often as I dream about eating sweet milk by the spoonful, I didn't want to spoil my beloved, acerbic lemon flavour. Luckily the sweet milk and lemons share the spotlight quite graciously! Plus they're nestled on top of a pistachio and graham cracker crust...and unless allergies are involved, I've yet to meet anyone who can resist pistachios. (Seriously, just try to resist eating most of the bag whilst shelling.)

Lemon Bars with Pistachio-Graham Cracker Crust
makes about 12 squares

for the crust
2/3 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
4 ounces (1 cup) graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Zest from one lemon (don't worry about having a specific amount.)
5 Tablespoons (that's 1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

for the filling
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
Zest from one lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving a slight overhang along the edges. [Note: Lightly spray or butter the foil, if using.]
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the pistachios, graham cracker crumbs, salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Pulse several times until the pistachios are finely ground. (It's okay if to have a few large chunks of pistachio here and there.) Add the melted butter and pulse just until blended into the dry ingredients. (Everything should be evenly moistened.) Press the crust into the bottom and up the sides (about 1-inch) of prepared pan.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool completely before adding the filling.
Prepare the filling: In a large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks, sweet milk, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth. Pour the filling over the cooled crust.
Bake for 13-17 minutes, until the middle is just set and no longer "jiggles" when the pan moves.
Remove the pan from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Once the squares have come to room temperature, transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour before slicing.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart


  1. These look fabulous, I love how the crust is just as thick as the filling. I've had some notable failures with a few of Martha's recipes myself, I think she farms some of them out...

  2. Yum, these look really tasty! I love lemon bars, and what a cool idea to jazz up the crust with pistachios. Definitely will have to try this one! :)

  3. I don't know what I like more - the lemon filling or the pistachio-graham cracker crust. I think I'd need to eat 2 or 3 to decide :)

  4. These look so gooood!!! I love anything and everything lemon too! I also love pistachio and have never had it with lemon. What a wonderful combo! I can't wait to try it : )

    Danielle xo

  5. Divine! That crust is awesome. I am addicted to lemon bars...



  6. it looks delicious! and btw i never ssem to get enough sleep too! ;) kisses!

  7. I've heard Martha is notorious for not testing her recipes. Luckily the few I've made have been good. These look spectacular! I heart anything with lemon.

  8. They look so good..I always know when it's you on my sidebar ..just the photos:)

  9. I love lemon desserts! Can't wait to try these - I love that there's pistachio in the crust. Such a yummy twist.

  10. Wonderful recipe Valerie! I've just cooked some pistachio cupcakes and left a cup of pistachio. i'm going to try your bars!

  11. I can always count on you for a new lemon recipe! Like you, I can never get enough. These look great!

  12. Valerie, it looks so beautiful! Love the ingredients! and the color... :)

  13. i love the pistachio in the crust! once again, you have come up with an incredible sweet!

  14. Pistachios could be my all-time favorite nut, just slightly ahead of the cashew. :) Looks delicious, as always. Beautiful work!

  15. That pistachio graham cracker crust sounds amazing!

  16. The texture of this looks so lush and smooth! Wonderful! Ps. I really like your purple header..looks lovely

  17. Love this new twist on lemon bars!

  18. my darling beloved has a lovely short bread lemon bars recipe that i am in love with but your combination of pistachio + graham crackers sound fantastic, because you're right, who can resist pistachios?

  19. This sounds great, I've not made anything like this before. Pistachio and graham cracker crust sounds brilliant!


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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